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by Gardner Dozois,George R. R. Martin
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Short Stories & Anthologies
  • Author:
    Gardner Dozois,George R. R. Martin
  • ISBN:
    076532086X
  • ISBN13:
    978-0765320865
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Tor Books; Reprint edition (December 7, 2010)
  • Pages:
    672 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Short Stories & Anthologies
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1172 kb
  • ePUB format
    1745 kb
  • DJVU format
    1548 kb
  • Rating:
    4.7
  • Votes:
    727
  • Formats:
    rtf lrf txt mobi


This book contains original stories from George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Moon, Tanith Lee . Save the stories by Baker and Eisenstein for last. Then reread all of your copies of the Dying Earth books themselves, along with all of Michael Shea's Vancean books.

This book contains original stories from George R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Moon, Tanith Lee, Tad Williams, Kage Baker, and Robert Silverberg, along with fifteen others-as well as an introduction by Dean Koontz. Then, if you're still starving for more, go back through this book in its entirety.

To honor the magnificent career of Jack Vance, one unparalleled in achievement and impact, George R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, with the full cooperation of Jack Vance, his family, and his agents, have created a Jack Vance tribute anthology: Songs of the Dying Earth. Half a century ago, Jack Vance created the world of the Dying Earth, and fantasy has never been the same. This book contains original stories from George R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Moon, Tanith Lee, Tad Williams, Kage Baker, and Robert Silverberg, along with fifteen others and an introduction by Dean Koontz.

The Dying Earth and its sequels comprise one of the most powerful ion concepts in the history of the genre. They are packed with adventure but also with ideas, and the vision of uncounted human civilizations stacked one atop another like layers in a phyllo pastry thrills even as it induces a sense of awe - awe in the purest sense of the word - the irresistible yielding of the mind to something so grand in character that it cannot be entirely grasped in all. its ramifications but necessarily harbors an ineffable mystery at its heart.

Twenty-two authors contributed short fiction and an Afterword, about thirty pages on average. Songs of the Dying Earth title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Songs of the Dying Earth page at Subterranean Press.

Being Gardner Dozois: An Interview by Michael Swanwick was published by Old Earth Books in 2001

This book contains a collection of original short stories from George R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Moon . George R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, along with all the contributing writers, deserve major kudos for pulling this off: LIST OF STORIES

This book contains a collection of original short stories from George R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Moon, Tanith Lee, Tad Williams, Kage Baker, and Robert Silverberg, along with fifteen others-as well as an introduction by Dean Koontz. Martin and Gardner Dozois, along with all the contributing writers, deserve major kudos for pulling this off: LIST OF STORIES.

Martin and Gardner Dozois. Of the many novels written by SF Grandmaster Vance, his Dying Earth series remains the most popular and most memorable of his oeuvre. Now top SF and fantasy author. ave contributed stories and reminiscences to this mammoth collection of tales set in that unforgettable universe, one in which Earth's sun is a dying red dwarf and in which irascible mages, clever scoundrels, and ordinary folk wait around for their world's inevitable demis. .

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1). George .

390. Jessica Bendinger: Accomplished list and song-writer Jessica Bendinger talks about story and the need to become a missionary for your project.

Martin, Gardner Dozois. A dim place, ancient beyond knowledge. The sun is feeble and red. A million cities have fallen to dust. Here live a few thousand souls, dying, as the Earth dies beneath them. Just a few short decades remain to the long history of our world

To honor the magnificent career of Jack Vance, one unparalleled in achievement and impact, George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, with the full cooperation of Vance, his family, and his agents, have created a Jack Vance tribute anthology: Songs of the Dying Earth. The best of today's fantasy writers to return to the unique and evocative milieu of The Dying Earth, from which they and so many others have drawn so much inspiration, to create their own brand-new adventures in the world of Jack Vanceâ?s greatest novel.Half a century ago, Jack Vance created the world of the Dying Earth, and fantasy has never been the same. Now, for the first time ever, Jack has agreed to open this bizarre and darkly beautiful world to other fantasists, to play in as their very own. To say that other fantasy writers are excited by this prospect is a gross understatement; one has told us that he'd crawl through broken glass for the chance to write for the anthology, another that he'd gladly give up his right arm for the privilege. That's the kind of regard in which Jack Vance and The Dying Earth are held by generations of his peers.This book contains original stories from George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Moon, Tanith Lee, Tad Williams,  Kage Baker, and Robert Silverberg, along with fifteen others--as well as an introduction by Dean Koontz.


Dilkree
I appear to have been far less taken with this collection than most of the other reviewers here. For my money, about half the stories could have been left out, to the ultimate improvement of those remaining. A 300-page volume consisting of the best half of this one would have made for a worthy tribute to Vance's oevre, because it would have been more uniformly in the same league as the original. On the plus side, by giving us quantity over quality, the editors certainly proved that no one else is Jack Vance. I do have to wonder where the Michael Shea story is, or more exactly, why it is in a different anthology than this one.

Robert Silverberg: The True Vintage of Erzuine Thale -- This would have been an excellent Jack Vance story, because Vance would have written it in 8 to 10 pages instead of meandering on for more than 20. Perplexingly, Silverberg makes the classic mistake of the novice Vance emulator, which is to assume from Vance's high-flown vocabulary that he is a verbose writer. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, Vance's defining quality is his ability to use unusual words in order to achieve a ruthless economy in his plotting and pacing -- an economy sadly missing from this story and quite a few of its fellows in the anthology.

Matthew Hughes: Grolion of Almery -- Hughes has a better handle on the Vancean style than the great majority of writers here. He also understands how Vance builds characters and situations, and how Vance wrings the most entertainment value out of his revelations, in some cases by leaving them completely implicit.

Terry Dowling: The Copsy Door -- At almost 30 pages long, this story bears an unhappy resemblance to the sun of the Dying Earth: pale and over-expanded and only occasionally letting loose a gleam of warming illumination. Dowling does a great job creating a Vancean protagonist who suffers from a Vancean curse, but the duel of wizardry that results is indulgent and at times dull, and its excessive length gives one plenty of time to see the "twist" at the end coming.

Liz Williams: Caulk the Witch-chaser -- A passingly good tale, once the protagonist navigates the overlong introductory action. Toward the end, it rushes into an odd bit of character evolution, but I'm ambivalent as to whether that's a good thing or a bad one. Bizarrely, the editors saw fit to telegraph the ending in their introduction to the story, so be sure to skip the intro until after you've read it.

Mike Resnick: Inescapable -- Resnick makes no attempt whatsoever to imitate Vance's style in this story (or if he does, then his own style must be the epitome of stripped-bare prose; I've not previously read him). That's not necessarily unforgivable, as the middle portion of the story does a good job capturing the Vancean trope of the man whose obsession strips him of all conscience. The beginning and ending left me flat, though.

Walter Jon Williams: Abrizonde -- More or less successful as a Vance pastiche, this story is like most of its companions in that it demonstrates a facility at certain Vancean techniques and falls short on others. Williams didn't seem to know how to end it; the last several pages seemed rather tacked-on, and almost made me wonder if the editors put a minimum length on submissions, with only Howard Waldrop being allowed an exception.

Paula Volsky: The Traditions of Karzh -- One of the better in the book, this story gives us a callow young Vancean protagonist brimming with the sort of indolence and nonchalance that Vance himself always uses to such good effect. The main character's quandary develops briskly, his responses are clever and engaging, and everything comes to a rousing climax, with cunningly planted devices used to propel the plot along throughout.

Jeff Vandermeer: The Final Quest of the Wizard Sarnod -- An interesting tale featuring two or three protagonists, this one will suit you if you're a big fan of Vance's fascination with the ambiguous. I found it a bit diffuse, with a tendency to introduce its magical devices just at the moment they are needed and then move on, whereas Vance himself usually plants his enchantments early on and then draws them from the arsenal when they will be most surprising and apt.

Kage Baker: The Green Bird -- All but perfect. Anything I might say against this story would mark me for a quibbling pedant. Baker has crafted a work that would fit directly in with anything in The Eyes of the Overworld or Cugel's Saga, both in drollery and cunning.

Phyllis Eisenstein: The Last Golden Thread -- Even better than "The Green Bird." It's a shame Neil Gaiman wrote the story that he did, because this one would have made for a much superior finale.

Elizabeth Moon: An Incident in Uskvesk -- Oddly grubby, given the paramount characteristic of the Dying Earth: that virtually everyone there is outwardly polite. In Vance's world, threats are kept implicit, insults veiled, propositions oblique. But most everyone in this story shows a straightforward callousness that borders on crass. Beyond that, the plot is contrived and there are multiple references to wormigers that remind us how inventive Vance is with fantastical animal husbandry, whereas this story offers us giant insects.

Lucius Shepard: Sylgarmo's Proclamation -- In the midst of an impeccably crafted story, Shepard wins the Best-Distilled Essence of the Vancean Style Award for the following sentence (which you shouldn't read until you've read the story itself; as with the best of Vance's sentences, it suffers when removed from context): "The absence of all kinetic value bred a sense of foreboding in Thiago." Shepard also gets points for using footnotes.

Tad Williams: The Lamentably Comical Tragedy (or the Laughably Tragic Comedy) of Lixal Laqavee -- After getting off to a ponderous start, this one musters some reasonable entertainment value out of a forced partnership of the kind Vance so often constructs. The effect is less sure-footed than in most of Vance's examples, and reaches a muddled conclusion that makes me suspect the whole story was written seat-of-the-pants rather than plotted in advance.

John C. Wright: Guyal the Curator -- Wright shows a nimble understanding of Vance's style, in prose, concepts, and themes alike. His characterizations are somewhat aloof; the motives of Dying Earth characters are often more transparent than we see here, so that the protagonist's actions struck me at times as authorial caprice, though they're ultimately revealed to be in keeping with the story's overall thrust. In short, a good story, but one in which I as a reader failed to become fully lost.

Glen Cook: The Good Magician -- At times, too oblique; at others, too direct.

Elizabeth Hand: The Return of the Fire Witch -- Extremely solid from start to finish. Hand is apparently a King Crimson fan in addition to a Jack Vance enthusiast, and her work here manifests a kinship between the two that I hadn't previously realized existed.

Byron Tetrick: The Collegeum of Mauge -- Tetrick succeeds in creating characters who are at once sympathetic, appealing, and plausible within the setting of The Dying Earth. He places them in a situation that sparks both interest and curiosity. Then he resolves it all with an arbitrary plot featuring cameos by Vance's characters that fail to either convince or satisfy.

Tanith Lee: Evillo the Uncunning -- The hero of this tale is a hapless innocent, yet Lee treats him as Vance treats his own scurrilous rogues. The result is not as morally satisfying as some of the other tales in this volume, but the style and the conceits are appropriate, and the pacing is good.

Dan Simmons: The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz -- Some ruthless editing would have improved this one considerably, but after a very slow start it maneuvers along engagingly to a suitable if unspectacular end. Had it not been by the guy who wrote Hyperion, I think I would have been more impressed. Unfortunately, Simmons set his own bar very high back in the day.

Howard Waldrop: Frogskin Cap -- Odd.

George R.R. Martin: A Night at the Tarn House -- Martin has written better Vancean tales (Sandkings comes notably to mind), but this one will do in a pinch, though it's neither as comedic nor as resonant as I might have hoped for.

Neil Gaiman: An Invocation of Incuriosity -- This one starts off with a bit of, "I'm Neil Gaiman, so the rules do not apply to me," then settles into a relatively satisfying Dying Earth tale, then wraps up with a bit of almost-convincing "Here's why I broke the rules." Because he is Neil Gaiman, it works. But it also makes me wish that he'd avoided his coy, "Jack Vance is not imitable" pose and simply done what we all know he could have done, which would have been to write the best, most authentic story in the entire collection.

To sum up: My advice for Vance enthusiasts would be to buy this volume and read the stories by Hughes, Liz Williams, WJ Williams, Volsky, Baker, Eisenstein, Shepard, Wright, Hand, Lee, Simmons, Martin and Gaiman. Save the stories by Baker and Eisenstein for last. Then reread all of your copies of the Dying Earth books themselves, along with all of Michael Shea's Vancean books. Then, if you're still starving for more, go back through this book in its entirety.
Wilalmaine
I want to say first of all that I bought this book for its cover and the fact that Gardner Dozois's name was associated with it, as editor, or co-editor. As a lifelong science fiction reader I had a vague knowledge of Jack Vance as being a writer of stories with dragons, and not Tolkien dragons either. Where I got this impression, I don't know, but I never purchased a Vance novel until I read this excellent collection of all original Material.There's not a bad story here. Some of the better ones are Paula Volsky's "The Traditions of Karzh," George R. R. Martin's "A Night at the Tarn House," Tad Williams' "The Lamentably Sad Tragedy.." and Tanith Lee's "Evillo the Uncunning," which is maybe my favorite in this superlative collection. As I said I had never purchased a Vance novel at the time I downloaded "Songs of the Dying Earth"- There are now six of them sitting in my Kindle, and I'm halfway through "Mazirian the Magician," (The Dying Earth) which is great by the way.
I'll finish up by saying I rarely reread a book. I'll reread this one. I can only hope there's a sequel in the works.
kewdiepie
Whenever I see the name "Vance" on the cover of a book, I have to stop and make sure that I don't already have it. Or, in the old days, to replace a DAW paperback that had fallen apart after repeated readings. Now, I'm in the kindle age and continue to search for Vance's name. In my opinion, not enough of his old Ace, DAW,Dell, etc. PB's have made it to kindle. Wonder why that is .

Anyway when I saw that many of today,s best and best-paid writers of fantasy (call it sci-fi, if you will) had assembled to create a nearly 700 page tribute to Jack's "Dying Earth" books, I had to have it.

Maybe I'm spoiled by low kindle prices, so I thought ten bucks was kinda high. Then I just ordered it. A foreword by Vance, an intro by Koontz, stories by Gaiman, Moon, Martin, Lee... You get the idea. These are writers trying to make a living. And the book is well worth the price.
Whitegrove
Jack Vance was one of the first fantasy writers I encountered, in my teens. His Dying Earth series is my favorite of his work. For many years, I've hoped that Vance would write more about that world. Or failing that, that some other writer would. In recent years I've been enthralled by the Vance-influenced works of Matthew Hughes, particularly his Penultimate Earth series. But _Songs of the Dying Earth_ is more than I dared to hope for. Twenty-two stories set in the Dying Earth itself! Including not only one by Matthew Hughes, but many of my other favorite writers, such as Robert Silverberg, Kage Baker, and Neil Gaiman, and writers I don't see enough of, such as Paula Volsky. Some of them did near-perfect Vance imitations, but all of them wrote wonderful stories. It's a huge book, but--it's not enough! So now, I sincerely hope that Subterranean Press will publish more Dying Earth anthologies.
Kieel
If you love Jack Vance's stories of Dying Earth, you might try this book. The stories are by good authors, using their interpretation of JV's universe. The product, as one might imagine, is wildly variable. I would rate about a third of the content worthy of Mr. Vance, another third fairly interesting, and the remainder mere dross.
Androwyn
A fun read, though some stories are better than others. They stay well within the type of Fantasy that Jack Vance used to write the originals. A couple of authors seem a little too eager to bring in Cugel the Clever as a character and suffer for it as creating a new character would be better than trying to force Cugel's personality into situations that make him act out of his normal behavior.
thrust
I'm a latecomer to the works of Jack Vance, although I've known about him (or at least his characters and magic) since I was a child. Now that I have read his Dying Earth stories, I kick myself for not having picked them up sooner. This book may not be Vance, but the writers of these short stories clearly share a love of the man and his setting, and they make an excellent companion to Vance's own pieces.